The art of boredom
Bianca S. Valerio (The Philippine Star) - November 2, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Ever wonder if it’s too late to pursue an inner passion?

Oprah once said, “On the road to your dreams, you stumble upon new ones.”

What started as a mindless act of doodling to kill boredom and an innocent trip to an arts supplies store has led Filipino Sydney-based artist Chico Cristobal to a colorful journey of self-discovery and expression.

Just like his chosen style of abstract, this multi-hyphenate is a myriad of sorts: musician, interior designer, furniture restorer and now he can add painter to his list of artful accolades.

I had the pleasure of attending his first-ever solo exhibit right in the heart of Sydney CBD recently, just six months after he first started painting. Talk about a whirlwind career! Chico’s story inspired deeply as I know there’s an innate fire within ourselves we long to ignite before it’s too late.

So here are 10 tried-and-tested clichés that’ll make you rethink those risks are worth taking!

1. Desperation breeds creativity.

The infancy of Cristobal’s first artwork was a product of killing time before starting business school.

2. No plans can lead to big ones.

Assuming his first artwork was more like a high school project, he decided to keep it and the rest they say is history (because we needed another cliché right there).

3. Know the rules, then learn to break them.

Cristobal, the artist, as he prefers to be called, explains, “(Abstract art) to me, is limitless. I just make sure there is balance, proportion and right color combination.”

4. Stick to the basics.

Art, no matter how abstract, needn’t be complicated. So Cristobal stuck to the basics: “It’s simple, you have lines, circles, geometric shapes but as a whole, the color combination I used — I just find it interesting.”

5. The road less taken.

One would naturally assume Cristobal relied on stencils for his paintings. Impressively, he completed his first collection, aptly titled, Handpainted Not Computer-Generated Series by taking the organic and disciplined, detailed route.

Talk about a steady hand, it makes you appreciate every painted line and curve so much more.

6. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Personally, as much as art history is relevant, I am indifferent to it. I appreciate art for what it is, first, followed by the artist and not the other way around.

Cristobal shares, “An Australian guy explained that he bought my painting because he was a mathematician and the artwork reminds him of geometry and formulas.”

7. You’ll never know until you try.

Forego the typical moving “I was discovered” story on having his own exhibit: “I just walked in and spoke to the cafe manager since I heard they feature and help emerging artists every month. I showed my work and he said yes — I had the month of June!” I’ll be damned.

8. Never undermine your worth.

Considering he had no formal schooling, Cristobal finally got the validation he needed when he sent his first 12 works to One Hundredth Gallery, Melbourne where they were highly received. “I was shocked by how much they would sell them for. It validated that I could create something that can be appreciated by others.”

9. Y.O.L.O. (You Only Live Once).

Though many of us know this, not everyone is brave enough to embrace it. Cristobal shares, “For as long as you are still breathing, you can still do anything you want. Just keep creating. There will always be people around you who will appreciate it.”

10. Money can’t buy happiness.

Spoken like a true “starving” artist, “The monetary aspect of it is just secondary. God gave me this talent to share, not just in art but in all things that will make one happy and feel accomplished.”

(Follow the artist @Cristobal_Art on Instagram.)


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